14 Feb 2010

13/02/10 - Lamb of God @ o2 Academy Brixton

Brilliant show, epic setlist, amazing band.

Today is the 2nd Valentines Day in a row that I have been recovering after a LoG show, and it feels GOOD =D


I arrived in Brixton at about 6:30pm, i'd planned to just get there as soon as doors open but knowing the show was a sell out I figured i'd queue a little.... I wasn't happy with my decision when I got outside the old Astoria as it was raining, and the queue was quite literally the longest I had ever seen. Most of the previous times I had been to the Astoria there had been a queue but I guess I had got there early and the shows were not sell outs! after turning 2 corners and almost in a position where I could see the beginning of the queue, I patiently waited for the doors to open.

I entered the venue at 7:15pm on the dot, and was met to the sound of Between the Buried and Me opening their show - I bypassed the queues for the bar and merch stands as I hardly ever drink and I forgot to take cash with me and didn't particularily love any of the merch - I have enough LoG shirts to last quite a while! I made a hasty dash to the loos (clearly visable from anywhere in the venue - bonus!) and then took my place about 3 rows back from the barrier, not bad considering my position in the queue. BTBAM (official myspace) aren't a band I had heard much from, although I could tell there were quite a few fans there last night - I have no idea what songs they played apart from the closer which I think was called "White Walls" ? that was a good song and a crowd pleaser, the screeches of delight when it was announced told me as much.

August Burns Red (official myspace) were the next band to appear on stage after quite a swift changeover, and I was impressed. I know some friends are quite partial to this band and I was open to hopefully hearing something i'd enjoy, and I did. The band havent got the greatest stage presence ever, not from my angle anyways (being crushed... yes, 2nd support and getting crushed already) but the crowd were evidently impressed and knew all the songs played on the night. Apart from saying I enjoyed their performance there isn't much more I can say, by this point I was suffering a little with dehydration, I couldn't feel my feet (and thankfully couldn't feel anyone stamping on my feet either) and I was just a little bit hungry. I will most certainly be checking these guys out, I don't know how sustained they are as a band - or how popular they are over here, but I would definately see them again.

The changeover between ABR and Job for a Cowboy (official myspace) was somewhat longer than that between BTBAM - and since I wasn't exactly looking forward to this leg of the show I guess I was, at this point, getting a little agitated. The last time I saw JFAC was at Download Festival one of the years, possibly 2007 - it could have been 2008 but hey I am not googling it so i'll save that for you, and if you're a fan you'll know anyways... but yes, I wasn't impressed at all. The only thing I can put it down to is that I feel they are more of an indoors band, the sound at Download isn't great at the best of times (it's an outdoor festival, 3 stages, I was miles away from the stage) and plus I couldn't understand one word of the vocalist (even when he wasn't growling like a beast) so it wasn't an enjoyable show. This time, however, was different. I did feel they connected with the crowd, there were certainly a large portion of those sweating buckets who were fans (chanting "JOB, JOB, JOB" - they can't exactly chant "JOB FOR A COWBOY" in sync now can they? - it doesn't have the same effect as "MACHINE FUCKING HEAD" or "IN FLAMES" or "LAMB OF GOD" - for example). Much like the previous bands I didn't exactly know any of their songs, but I enjoyed their performance (and it was a performance, unlike what I witnessed previously) - the crowd did too, surging forwards like a mexican wave every so often and clearly happy to oblige to the frontman's orders. I was, however, happy when the time came for JFAC to leave the stage - some kids that were infront of me decided to bail too and I was ever so slightly closer to where the mightly Lamb of God (official myspace) would be standing soon.

It was inevitable that we'd have a much longer wait between bands in preparation of LoG, but the crowd were treated to some Nine Inch Nails over the loud speakers which was a nice suprise. All the stage gear that LoG have, artwork and everything else, were loaded out and put into position while everyone was chanting "LAMB OF GOD!" getting gradually louder until everyone simultaeneously stopped... it was, as I had expected. Once the room went dark, and everyone knew the giants were about to come on stage, the entire place erupted into mass hysteria and with everyone pushing forward I was winded the first time of the night by an elbow to the diaphragm (cheers dude). The opening track, from 2009's "Wrath", left everyone in frenzy - and by the time the song finished I was literally gasping for breath - this was DEFINATELY going to be a great show! I shant run through the show song by song, but I will list the setlist:
  1. The Passing
  2. In Your Words
  3. Set to Fail
  4. Walk With Me In Hell
  5. Now You've Got Something To Die For
  6. Ruin
  7. Hourglass
  8. Dead Seeds
  9. Omerta
  10. Grace (guitar solo intro)
  11. Broken Hands
  12. Laid to Rest
  13. Contractor

14. Reclamation
15. Redneck
16. Black Label

I bailed from the front during Set to Fail, I don't mind admitting that - I was either going to suffocate in there or just not enjoy the show, or bail and at least get to take pictures and enjoy the songs in my own way. I stood by a pillaar to the right of the stage with a great view, and from there on actually ENJOYED the show! Singing along to Walk With Me In Hell, Now You've Got Something To Die For, Hourglass, Omerta, Laid to Rest... the list goes on. The setlist last year in Manchester was good and I guess I did miss "Pathetic" and "Vigil" but hey, i'm happy as long as Omerta is thrown in there ;)

So yes, it was a brilliant show - I was an extremely happy bunny when I left the venue (albeit quite wobbly, my legs were dead by the end) and I do feel like i've been hit by a bus today - but that's what you expect at a Lamb of God show... nothing more, nothing less, and they always deliver.

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